We're shocked! The US National Institute of Mental Health just found that the very concept of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) might be a total misdiagnosis. According to psychologists in Montreal, the depressive symptoms commonly felt during winter months have - in the past - been attributed to changes in light exposure.
What Else Can Be Causing Depression?
Although the research is not yet conclusive, it is very likely that winter-time depression is actually year-round depression being noticed during the winter time. Given that the temperature is colder during the winter months, we tend to spend much more time in-doors and often alone. With increased isolation, it is possible that we may engage in more self-reflection and thus, notice our depressive symptoms more than we otherwise would. Another possibility is that isolation - in itself - may cause or worsen depressive symptoms, given that our social circle - a significant contributor to our happiness - is non-existent during isolation. Of course, both of these possibilities can occur simultaneously.
How A Misdiagnosis Can Hurt
A misdiagnosis can be extremely damaging because you will inevitably be treated for the wrong condition. Not only will your initial symptoms not improve, by the time you figure out you have been misdiagnosed, you will have wasted all that time when you could have been fully treated by then.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are not to be misinterpreted as medical, clinical, or any other professional advice. The views expressed are opinions and / or ideas founded on research and clinical experience. These views are meant to provoke awareness and inquiry into various issues, and thus, create an open-minded dialogue, civil discussion, and respectful debate among our readers. Any claims made are subject to change should new studies be conducted that disprove these claims.
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